The Order of Mimesis

The Order of Mimesis : Balzac, Stendhal, Nerval and Flaubert

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This book is a challenging investigation of the idea of literary mimesis in the light of contemporary literary theory. Drawing on a range of theoretical perspectives developed in and around the work of Barthes, Kristeva, Genette and Derrida, Dr Prendergast explores approaches to the concept of mimesis and relates these to a number of narrative texts produced in the period which literary history familiarly designates as the age of realism: Balzac's Illusions Perdues and Splendeurs et Miseres des Courtisanes, Stendhal's Le Rouge et le Noir, Nerval's Sylvie and Flaubert's L'Education Sentimentale. The book is not merely expository however: one of the author's aims is to engage with much of the polemical debate which has surrounded the topic, in the belief that a recognition of the historical conditions determining both the theory and practice of mimesis must be recovered.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 300 pages
  • 142 x 224 x 28mm | 460g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 0521369770
  • 9780521369770
  • 1,332,112

Table of contents

General editors preface; Acknowledgements; 1. The order of mimesis: poison, nausea, health; 2. The economy of mimesis; 3. Balzac: narrative contracts; 4. Stendhal: the ethics of verisimilitude; 5. Nerval: the madness of mimesis; 6. Flaubert: the stupidity of mimesis; 7. Conclusion: mimesis, a matter for the police?; Notes; Translations; Select bibliography; Index.
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